Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March achieves a number of AMA's goals of acquiring coverage of 32 million uninsured Americans. The historic passage of health system reform legislation marks a triumphant culmination of several years of committed work by AMA physicians and staff. The AMA secured several meaningful changes in the health system reform (HSR) legislation and regulations that would have otherwise adversely affected physicians.
The Minority Affairs Consortium becomes the AMA's newest section this year and creates stronger partnerships with national ethnic medical associations such as the National Medical Association. Such programs as the Doctors Back to School and Minority Scholars programs grow throughout the year.
The AMA class action lawsuit against United Health settles. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York approves the $350 million judgment in American Medical Association vs. United Health Care, and approximately 650,000 claims (including claims of physicians and patients) were submitted to the settlement claims administrator. This lawsuit, pending since 2000, challenged the validity of the United Health Group owned Ingenix database to determine the reimbursement rates for out-of-network care. Today’s settlement will ensure United Health Group is held accountable for reimbursing the patients and physicians it shortchanged through the use of this flawed database.
The AMA, which has policy opposing gene patents, files an amicus brief in a case against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2000, the U.S. PTO has granted thousands of patents on human genes, prompting concerns that genetic research and testing to benefit patients will be delayed or stopped. In 2009, a lawsuit was filed against the U.S. PTO, as well as Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on two breast cancer genes. The lawsuit charges that the patents stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women's options regarding their medical care.
Howard C. Bauchner, M.D., from Boston University School of Medicine, becomes the 16th JAMA editor in the journal's 127-year history.
The AMA introduces its first-ever smart phone application designed specifically for physicians that allows them to quickly find CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing codes. Additionally, the AMA invites medical students, residents and physicians to submit new medical smart phone application ideas that could improve the daily lives of their colleagues as part of their first-ever AMA Mobile App Challenge.
The AMA names James L. Madara, M.D., as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer.
In a vote at its Annual meeting, the AMA adopts a new policy to encourage advertising associations to work with public- and private-sector organizations to establish guidelines that will discourage airbrushing or retouching in advertising, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications.
The AMA launches an obesity prevention campaign, Weigh What Matters, in September 2011, with a Webinar for participating physicians. The program consists of an extensive series of resources available to physicians help address obesity issues with patients.